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How To Help Your Child If He Is Being Disengaged In School?

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Do you have a child who seems disengaged in school? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of all American students are disengaged from school. This can lead to a number of problems, including lower grades and poor social skills. So what can you do to help your child if he is being disengaged in school?

Continue reading How To Help Your Child If He Is Being Disengaged In School?

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5 Helpful Ideas to Support Students Who Are Now Learning Offline

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No matter how dedicated you are as a student or whether you’re in high school or college, checking your phone for new notifications is second nature. According to Inside Higher Ed, 49% of students use technology for non-learning tasks which distract them, with 68% of teachers being bothered by the fact. 

Continue reading 5 Helpful Ideas to Support Students Who Are Now Learning Offline

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Petition urging Governor Murphy to unmask kids

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Governor Phil Murphy continues to require New Jersey’s children to wear masks at school, daycare, and summer camp, even though children and adults can now unmask almost everywhere else.

Continue reading Petition urging Governor Murphy to unmask kids

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Reader says Schools actively hold on to Students to Squeeze More Money


“Only 19 percent of full-time students at a public university earn a bachelor’s degree in four years, according to the nonprofit organization Complete College America”
This has less to do with an inability to afford school and more to do with all of the immersive experiences baked into college, such as study abroad, semester off experiences, etc…
Schools actively promote this so they can hold onto the student longer and squeeze more money from each student.

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New Jersey cheerleader, 12, dies in suspected suicide same day mother complained about bullying at school

New Jersey cheerleader, 12, dies in suspected suicide

Friends of a 12-year-old New Jersey cheerleader who died last week believe the young student committed suicide because she was bullied online.

The Morris County Prosecutor’s office said the death of Mallory Grossman was under investigation, but did not confirm whether she suffered from a fatal, self-inflicted wound, News 4 reported.

Relatives told the news station that Mallory’s mother complained to administrators at Copeland Middle School about the alleged cyberbullying hours before her daughter died.

Students at the Rockaway school on Monday sported light blue clothing in a call to stop bullying and a tribute to their dead classmate.

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5 Ways The College Textbook Industry Gets You To Pay More For Textbooks


(And How To Get Around It)

August 1,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The tuition cost was haunting. The dorm bill was daunting.  The laptop your favorite college freshman just had to have cost more than your first car.

Now all she has left to do is hit the college bookstore with her list of required textbooks. Don’t be surprised if she comes out crying.

A recent study by the United States Government Accountability office showed that the average prices for textbooks have risen 82 percent in just 10 years.

Many expected that internet access would help bring costs down, but the college textbook industry appears to be keeping students from saving money by using such tactics as college specific books, book bundling and eTextbooks, all of which raise prices.

Luckily there is something you can do about it.  You just need to do a little homework before classes start. “There are many ways you can save when buying textbooks that the college textbook industry doesn’t want you to know about,” says Chris Manns of the price comparison websites Both free services help students locate the cheapest prices for millions of books.

Here’s his list of the ways the college textbook industry gets you to pay more, and some tips for paying less:

• College Specific Books:   Colleges have started asking students to buy college specific books.  They take a commonly used textbook and have it printed with the college name and course number on the cover.  This gives the book a new ISBN (International Standard Book Number) that is typically only available at the college it was made for.
The workaround: Ask the professor if it’s OK to use the book’s common version. “The common version will be available online and, in almost all cases, be much cheaper and apart from the cover, it’ll be the exact same.  When you rent or buy it online, you’ll be able to rent or buy it used from anybody,” Manns says.
• Book Bundling: Students are sometimes required to buy a “book bundle” with extra class materials that add to the cost. “These bundles often include items the professors aren’t even using,” Manns says.
The workaround: Email the professor or wait until the class starts and ask if the professor will be using the supplemental material. “If the answer is no, then buy just the textbook online,” Manns says.
• New Editions: “This problem has been around a long time,” Manns says. Publishers release new versions of books every few years, even though little changes. Usually, buying an older edition gives you the information you need. Older editions often cost less than $25.
• eTextbooks: eTextbooks are usually more expensive than buying a book used or renting it, and they typically expire after six months or a year.
The workaround: Shop around. Most eTextbooks are available from multiple sellers. If you have the option, go old-school and buy the hard cover or paperback, which will typically be much cheaper. “That way you can keep it if you want, or you can sell it later,” he says.
• Timing: Sometimes students don’t learn what textbooks they need until a couple of weeks before classes start, giving them little time to shop around.

The workaround: Don’t worry too much about getting your books before classes start.  If you don’t mind a little inconvenience, then wait until you’re a couple of days into the school year before buying. “The professor might even tell you that you don’t need the book,” Manns says. If it’s required, you can shop online and still have the book within a couple of days.

About Chris Manns

Chris Manns is the managing director of the price-comparison websites and’s been in the business of helping students find the cheapest prices for their textbooks since 2001.

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Why do we still use class rank to select graduation speakers?


Brian Stack

Monday, June 30, 2014

The movement of schools across the country from a traditional to a standards-based or competency-based grading model is calling into question the age-old practice of asking the valedictorian and the salutatorian to be the speakers at graduation.

New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor recently published a story describing how several New Hampshire high schools have already abandoned this model in favor of one that opens up the privilege of being selected as a graduation speaker to a much broader cohort of deserving students.

The practice of calculating class rank is obsolete in today’s educational environment. In a recent Phi Delta Kappan article, University of Kentucky professor and educational reform author Thomas Guskey explains that “Class Rank Weighs Down True Learning.”

Guskey argues that schools must decide whether their intent is to select or develop talent. Selecting talent, he explains, is indicative of poor teaching, because it is achieved when teachers and schools create the greatest possible variation of assessment scores so they can distinguish between students with greater talent from those with less.

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North Jersey kids aren’t just sitting still at school anymore



The teenager’s green Nikes bounce up and down on a big rubber band attached to the desk as teacher Kaitlyn Brock talks about continents and hemispheres. Nearby another student swings his legs on the bands. Their upper bodies remain still, they are taking notes and appear focused.

It had been two weeks since Brock had brought the Bouncy Bands to her Paterson classroom where she teaches about 120 seventh- and eighth-graders social studies each day at Alexander Hamilton Academy. She had already noticed a difference.

“They seem to be more focused when they can move their feet at the same time and they’re not completely confined to their seats,” said Brock, who is part of a movement among teachers to allow more movement.

The days of teachers yelling “Sit still” to kids in elementary through high school seem to be ending. Educators around North Jersey are realizing the value of a little freedom and physical activity while teaching.

It’s kinesthetic learning, according to Barry Bachenheimer, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment for the Pascack Valley Regional High School District.

“[It’s] the idea that when your body is in motion, you’re firing up endorphins, things are moving and instead of [you] sitting in a singular place the entire time,” said Bachenheimer. “If you’re sitting still for a long time, your brain doesn’t work.”

As more adults are coming around to the idea that “sitting is the next smoking” and working movement into their work routine, the idea of physical activity and education is moving more and more toward implementation instead of simply discussion. It is still not enough, according to Aleta Margolis, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based non-profit Center for Inspired Teaching.